Abuse of Restraining Orders is Shown, but Most Massachusetts Media Ignore the Story

Cellucci and Feminists Want To Add To Existing Laws

By Paul Moreno, Massachusetts News

May 20—More than 100 parents who say they’re victimized by restraining orders in divorce and custody fights took their campaign to the State House Tuesday, but most of the media ignored them. 

Gov. Paul Cellucci opposes reform and wants to make existing laws on restraining orders even tougher. His office is pushing several bills that would make such orders easier to obtain and impose more stringent penalties for their violation. 

Mark Charalambous, spokesman for the Fatherhood Coalition, told Massachusetts News: "The media are engaged in a conspiracy of silence with feminists. We’re more politically incorrect than the NRA."

Ned Holstein, president of Fathers and Families, said: "The governor doesn’t have his feet on planet earth and does not know what’s going on in the courts."

While most media focused on high-profile bills on homosexual marriage and partial-birth abortion, at least 100 people were telling the Joint Judiciary Committee to adopt their bill, which would protect the rights of subjects of restraining orders in domestic disputes. 

Restraining orders, commonly meant to protect marriage partners from violence or abuse during divorce and custody proceedings, have been turned into offensive weapons in many of these cases, family group advocates say. 

Orders can be obtained by one person’s unsubstantiated accusation, based only on his or her state of mind.  Many people have been jailed for accidentally violating restraining orders. 

The reform bill would require the following: more evidence than a person’s "state of mind" to obtain a restraining order; proof that violations of restraining orders are intentional;  removal of  "no contact" provisions between parents and children in cases where there is no abuse; and, provide clearer evidentiary and due-process protections in restraining-order proceedings. 

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Several parents told the committee horror storie